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Dr Jennifer Debenham

Casual Academic

School of Humanities and Social Science (History)

Career Summary

Biography

Currently a sessional tutor in Australian History with the School of Humanities and Social Science and Sociology with the English Language and Foundational Studies Program.  Special interests are mythology in history, representation, memory, gender, race and class in Australian and international history over a range of time periods.  An anthropological understanding of historical issues steers the perspectives in her inquiry.  Currently she is a Senior Research Assistant with the Centre for the History of Violence at University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus.  Her current research is considering the way Aboriginal Australians have been represented on documentary film.

Research Expertise
My research expertise is primarily in the discipline of history. My expertise is especially developed in the history of Indigenous Australians, in particular, how they have been represented on documentary film. I also have expertise in Anthropology and Sociology. This interdisciplinary approach informs the way I approach issues of gender, class, race and ethnicity and how they influence the construction of Australian national identity. The mythological constructions of identity through individual and collective memory, particularly in film, play a central role in my research. A transnational approach to history is also a key aspect of my research. A strong consideration of the historiography of colonial encounters and shifting ideas in scientific thinking are also important areas of interest.

I have been a Senior Research Assistant on ARC projects and book projects. I am a consultant historian and belong to the Professional Historian’s Association of NSW. I this capacity I have co-authored The Australia Day Regatta, (2014), provided text for signage in Pyrmont Park Redevelopment for the Sydney Harbour Authority, conducted surveys for local government authorities and constructed corporate histories. I have developed skills in oral history practice and the construction of bibliographic databases. My current projects include writing a history of Indigenous documentary filmmaking; working on an ARC Development Project collecting data about colonial violence on the Australian frontiers and examining the ways in which tertiary students respond to Anzac. My work is informed by interdisciplinary perspectives, especially in the use of qualitative evidence.

Teaching Expertise
My teaching expertise has been developed over the past ten years. I have taught at undergraduate level and in the English Language and Foundations Studies Program (ELFS) where I have taught Australian History and Sociology and Comparative histories of Australia and Canada. I have the ability to teach independently and in teams with both large and small groups of students. As a lecturer and tutor I have received positive feedback from students many of who continue to keep in contact after they have completed their studies. In 2006 I was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support. I am currently a tutor in The Australian Experience HIST 1051. 


Qualifications

  • PhD (Humanities), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Aboriginal history
  • Australian history
  • Film studies
  • Food studies
  • Indigenous filmmakers
  • Sociology
  • Transnational histories

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
130199Education Systems not elsewhere classified35
160199Anthropology not elsewhere classified35
210399Historical Studies not elsewhere classified30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
2/02/2015 - 17/07/2015Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
23/06/2014 - 19/12/2014Casual LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
Australia
23/06/2014 - 19/12/2014Casual LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
Australia
11/04/2011 - 22/07/2011Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
27/07/2009 - 14/12/2009Casual LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre
Australia
26/02/2007 - 30/06/2007Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/03/2013 - Senior Research AssistantUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/04/2011 - 1/10/2011Research AssistantUniversity of Newcastle
School of Architecture
Australia
1/07/2006 - 1/12/2006Lecturer/TutorUniversity of Newcastle
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre
Australia
1/03/2005 - TutorUniversity of Newcastle
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre
Australia
1/03/2005 - TutorUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/01/2005 - 1/04/2005Research AssistantUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/01/1977 - 1/04/1977Laboratory Technician
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The University of Sydney
School of Medicine
Australia

Membership

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2009 - Membership - Professional Historian's Association (NSW)Professional Historian's Association (NSW)
Australia
1/01/2004 - Membership - Australian Historical AssociationAustralian Historical Association
Australia

Professional appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2000 - Laboratory TechnicianRamm Botanicals
Australia
1/01/1985 - Laboratory TechnicianNSW Dept. of Agriculture
Australia
1/01/1985 - Laboratory TechnicianMacquarie Pathology Services
Australia
1/10/1982 - Laboratory TechnicianCenco Citrus Products
United States
1/09/1982 - 1/02/1983Laboratory TechnicianKitchens of Sara Lee
Australia
1/04/1977 - 1/09/1982Laboratory TechnicianCSIRO - Molecular and Cellular Biology Unit
Molecular and Cellular Biology Unit
Australia

Awards

Distinction

YearAward
2004Faculty Award, Education and Arts
University of Newcastle

Recipient

YearAward
2006Research Higher Degree Scholarship
University of Newcastle

Recognition

YearAward
2006Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support
University of Newcastle
2001Pro-Vice Chancellor's Award (Dean's Award)
University of Newcastle
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Cheater C, Debenham JA, The Australia Day Regatta, UNSW Press, Sydney, 304 (2014) [A1]

Journal article (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2005Debenham JA, May JR, 'Making connections: a dialogue about learning and teaching in a tertiary enabling program', Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 45 82-105 (2005) [C1]
Co-authorsJosephine May

Conference (10 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Debenham JA, 'William Grayden¿s Explosive Film, Warburton Aborigines, (1957): Conflicting Media Representations Of The Warburton Aborigines', Conflict in History - Australian Historical Association Annual Conference, University of Queensland, St Lucia (2014) [E3]
2014Debenham JA, 'Performing Science: the field work of the South Australian Board of Anthropological Research at Cockatoo Creek, 1931', Friends, Foes and Other Intimacies, University of Tasmania, Hobart. (2014) [E3]
2011Debenham JA, 'The Day We Celebrate: newspaper reports of NSW Anniversary Day Celebrations History at the Edge - Australian Historical Association Biennial Regional Conference 4 ¿ 8 July, University of Tasmania, Launceston.', History at the Edge - Australian Historical Association Biennial Regional Conference 4 ¿ 8 July, University of Tasmania, Launceston., Launceston (2011)
2009Debenham JA, 'Celluloid Narratives: the influence of Darwinian thinking in the construction of Aboriginality and Whiteness in Australian ethnographic films, 1900 ¿ 1950. Evolution ¿ The Experience - 8-13 February, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne.', Evolution ¿ The Experience - 8-13 February, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne., Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne. (2009)
2008Debenham JA, 'The Colonial Eye: Celluloid narratives of the ¿primitive¿ 3-5 December, Melbourne. 2008 Re-Orienting Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association', .Re-Orienting Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association, University of Melbourne (2008)
2008Debenham JA, 'Celluloid Memorials: Fixing Aboriginal Australians in Time and Place Locating History - Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference 7 ¿ 10 July, University of Melbourne.', Locating History - Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference, University of Melbourne (2008)
2007Debenham JA, 'Men of Science, Social Darwinism and the construction of whiteness on film in early twentieth century Australian society. Engaging Histories - Biennial Regional Australian Historical Association 2007 23rd ¿ 26th September, University of New England, Armidale NSW.', Engaging Histories - Biennial Regional Australian Historical Association, University of New England, Armidale (2007)
2007Debenham JA, 'Stationary cameras and stilted views: Technology, anthropology and the construction of race at the turn of the Twentieth Century', Historicising Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity, Melbourne (2007) [E1]
2006Debenham JA, 'Stationary Cameras and Stilted Views: Technology, Anthropology and the Construction of Race at the Turn of the Twentieth century. Historicising Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association 22 ¿ 24 November, 2006.University of Melbourne.', Historicising Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association, University of Melbourne (2006)
2004Debenham JA, May JR, 'Making connections: a dialogue about learning and teaching in a tertiary enabling program', Building Foundations 2004 Conference of Enabling Educators, Newcastle, Australia (2004) [E2]
Co-authorsJosephine May
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Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Debenham JA, Representations of Aborigines in Australian Documentary Film, 1901 - 2009., University of Newcastle (2013)
Author URL
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Dr Jennifer Debenham

Positions

Casual Academic
Ourimbah Research group. Tutor of Australian History. (Ourimbah); Research Assistant - Centre for the Study of Violence (Callaghan)
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Senior Research Assistant
Ourimbah Research group. Tutor of Australian History. (Ourimbah); Research Assistant - Centre for the Study of Violence (Callaghan)
Office PVC - Education and Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

History

Contact Details

Emailjennifer.debenham@newcastle.edu.au
Phone(02) 4349 4459

Office

RoomHumanities Building Room 1.75
BuildingSchool of Humanities and Social Science
LocationOurimbah
10 Chittaway Road
Ourimbah, NSW 2258
Australia
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